The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is launching two pioneering scientific spacecraft this year, one to study the Sun, and one to land on the Moon – the nation’s first soft landing on another celestial body.ESA’s global deep-space communication antennas will provide essential support to both missions every step of the way, tracking the spacecraft, pinpointing their locations at crucial stages, transmitting commands and receiving ‘telemetry’ and valuable science data.
And, the solar mission — Aditya-L1 — is expected to make the September-October window, missing which would push the mission to the next year. While the team is confident of making the window, the headquarters is yet to take a final call on the launch dates. “In all likelihood, it could happen this year,” one source said.
Aditya-L1: Aryabhatta Institute to organize workshop for students to analyse solar dataTo be launched later this year, Aditya-L1 is India's maiden space mission to the Sun wherein the space-based observatory will continuously image the star and observe coronal mass ejections, solar winds and other activities.
The Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (Aries) will host a ten-day workshop to train students in using and analysing solar data. Young astronomy aspirants keen on studying the sun can apply for the Aditya-L1 Science Support Cell (AL1SSC1) 2022 workshop to be held from June 27 to July 6 at the Nainital-based institute.
The workshop will have hands-on training and data analysis along with lectures on relevant topics. Some of the key areas to be covered during the workshop include spectroscopic observations, Aditya-L1 mission and objectives, imaging analysis, polarimetric observations and in-situ observations of the solar atmosphere, time series analysis, numerical simulations, remote sensing and use of advanced computational tools like Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Participants can also get a chance to visit the institute’s 15 cm H-alpha telescope to record real-time solar observations.
Aditya-L1 Support Cell (AL1SC), a joint effort of ISRO and ARIES, is set up at ARIES. This center will jointly work to maximize utilization of science data from upcoming Aditya-L1 space mission.
SoLEXS: Solar Low Energy X-ray SpectrometerSoLEXS on Aditya-L1 is a soft X-ray spectrometer (1 keV to 30keV) for studying solar flares. The main science goals of SoLEXS are: (i) Flare and coronal abundance studies as a standalone spectrometer and (ii) Dynamical events studies along with other payloads. In addition to the flare & coronal abundance studies, the heating mechanism of these flares, pre-flare activities indicating the flare initiation mechanisms and the coronal abundances and hence the FIP Effects will also be studied.Silicon Drift Detectors (SDD), which have high count rate capabilities are used. The spectroscopic signal processing modules like shaper, baseline restorer, peak detector, pile- up rejecter etc. are developed in digital domain, entirely into FPGA module. Key instrument specifications are; energy range 1-30 keV, Spectral resolution: < 250 eV @ 5.9 keV keV, Flare coverage: A to X-class. The Shutter Mechanism is developed as per SoLEXS payload requirement for aperture cover during ground/launch operations and deploy in orbit for payload operations.
FGM: Fluxgate MagnetometerIn Aditya–L1 mission, a pair of Flux Gate Magnetometers will be flown. The FGM instrument is a dual range 3-axis sets of magnetic sensors be mounted on a 6m boom (one at the tip and other at the mid-way of the boom). The design and development of the magnetic sensors, deployable 6m Magnetic Boom including the boom Testing at the Magnetic Test facility are the challenging aspects accomplished during the period.
VELC: Visible Emission Line CoronagraphVisible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC), the prime payload on-board Aditya-L1 mission is a collaborative project between Indian Institute of Astrophysics [IIA], Bengaluru and URSC. The Centre contributed in the thermal design and analysis of the VELC payload, optical design of the mirror and lens assemblies, development of Multiple operation Entry Aperture Cover Mechanism, Deployable Exit Cover Mechanism as well as Payload Drive electronics during the period.
HEl1OS: High Energy l1 Orbiting X-ray SpectrometerHEL1OS on Aditya-L1 is a hard X-ray spectrometer (10 keV to 150 keV) to observe Sun as a star continuously from L1 point. The main science goals of HEL1OS are to study particle acceleration processes during flares, via emission of hard X-rays (HXR) during the impulsive phase of solar flare. It is an instrument supporting multi-wavelength observations of eruptive solar phenomena.The instrument consists of two types of detectors, Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CZT) and Cadmium Telluride (CdTe), to cover the required spectral range (10 keV – 150 keV).
SUIT: Solar Ultraviolet Imaging TelescopeSUIT will observe the Sun in the 200-400 nm spectral range with 11 channels (3 Broadband & 8 Narrowband filters). SUIT is a collaborative project between Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics [IUCAA], Pune and URSC along with LEOS and IISU. A 4K x 4K CCD detector is used for capturing the solar disc image.
Director, SDSC SHAR, press meet [15 Aug 2022]:[YouTube link]<snip>Missions planned for next year:PSLV C55 - Commercial launchPSLV C56 - Aditya-L1GSLV Mk3 - OneWebGLSV Mk3 - Chandrayaan 3 (based on readiness)
Giving an update on the launch of Aditya L1 mission, Somanath S, Chairman ISRO said, “The spacecraft is currently being integrated. A critical payload is undergoing testing and integration. Full spacecraft is yet to be assembled and tested. The present schedule for launch is the beginning of 2023.”
Sullurpet: The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the American Space Research Organization (NASA) are preparing to jointly launch the Aditya L1 satellite before the end of January 2023 to study the Sun.
ISRO has intensified its arrangements to launch Aditya L1 satellite by PSLV-C56 rocket from Sriharikota in January 2023. SHAR Director Armugam Rajarajan revealed this to the media.
This satellite is being made at U.R. Rao Space Center in Bangalore.
The satellite weighs 1,475 kg. Payloads weigh 244 kg and liquid fuel weighs 1,231 kg. More liquid fuel is used to propel it towards the Sun. After the initial launch of the satellite into Geo Transfer Orbit, it takes 177 days to reach the Lagrangian Point-1 (L-1) which is 15 lakh km [1.5M km] from Earth. From there, it is expected to be able to continuously investigate the changes on the Sun without any obstacles. Six payloads are being installed in the satellite.
https://twitter.com/sdhrthmp/status/1619543335416532993QuoteChandrayaan-3, we will have this year end or next year beginning..discussions underway about the next #mars mission..now we’re going to the Sun- Aditya-L1 by June-July..mission to asteroid, to Venus are at discussion level as I understand” Umamaheswaran, #isro HSFC Director
Chandrayaan-3, we will have this year end or next year beginning..discussions underway about the next #mars mission..now we’re going to the Sun- Aditya-L1 by June-July..mission to asteroid, to Venus are at discussion level as I understand” Umamaheswaran, #isro HSFC Director
Fifth AL1SC WorkshopThe Aditya-L1 mission is India's first dedicated spacecraft mission to study the Sun. It will enable a comprehensive understanding of the dynamical processes of the Sun and address some of the outstanding problems in solar physics and heliophysics. As a joint effort of ISRO and ARIES, the Aditya-L1 Support Cell (AL1SC) has been set up to act as a community service centre for the guest observers in preparing science observing proposals and analyzing science data. This support cell provides tools and documentations required to understand, download and analyse the data. The AL1SC will be organising several workshops before and after the launch of Aditya-L1 mission to familiarize students with the basic processes happening on the Sun, current open problems, the Aditya-L1 mission and observational data analysis so that the scientific data can be explored by a larger community leading to the exciting scientific outcomes. With this objective, the fifth AL1SC workshop will be held at IIT, Kanpur from 29th September to 1st October 2023.Topics to be covered: Introduction to the Sun Imaging observations Spectroscopic observations Polarimetric observations and in-situ observations of the solar atmosphere Introduction to the advanced statistical and AI/ML techniques commonly used in solar physics Introduction to the ADITYA-L1 mission and its science objectives Hands-on sessions on the basic solar data analysis Imaging analysis Spectroscopic analysis Time series analysis Numerical simulations Remote sensing In-situ observations AI/ML methods using Python, IDL, and Fortran Visit to IIT Kanpur facilities including particle accelerator.Who can apply: Students pursuing BS (4th year )/ M.Sc/Int. M.Sc (4th and 5th year)/M.Tech/Int. Ph.D (1st and 2nd year) or those who have passed M.Sc/Int. M.Sc/M.Tech in 2022 and onward are eligible to apply.Number of Seats available : 30Travel and accommodations (financial support): The selected participants from university are eligible to get travel support. Sleeper class train fare or ordinary bus fare will be reimbursed for the round trip journey by the shortest route from applicant's address after producing original tickets of inward journey and photocopies of tickets of outward journey. Free lodging and boarding from 28th September to 2nd October will be provided.
Signal acquired! 📡〰️〰️〰️🛰️📶Communication was established between #AdityaL1 and ESA’s Kourou station in French Guiana ~1 hour after launch.Just a few minutes later, communication was handed over to ESA’s Cebreros station in Spain, seen here.#AdityaL1Mission #GroundStations
These were the first ‘words’ of a conversation between #AdityaL1 and #ESA’s antennas that will continue for years.#ISRO spacecraft operators used this link to check the health of the spacecraft after the stresses of launch.📹 ISRO
Data arriving at our stations around the world are forwarded to @isro in India via our ESOC #MissionControl centre in Darmstadt, Germany.ISRO sends commands to #AdityaL1 in the opposite direction: from India, to Germany, to our stations and up into orbit.#BonVoyage Aditya-L1!
Aditya-L1 Mission:The satellite is healthy and operating nominally.The first Earth-bound maneuvre (EBN#1) is performed successfully from ISTRAC, Bengaluru. The new orbit attained is 245km x 22459 km.The next maneuvre (EBN#2) is scheduled for September 5, 2023, around 03:00 Hrs. IST
ESA support to Aditya-L1ESA is supporting Aditya-L1 in two ways: the Agency is providing deep space communication services to the mission, and, last year, ESA assisted ISRO with the validation of important new flight dynamics software.Communication is an essential part of every space mission. Without ground station support, it’s impossible to get any science data from a spacecraft, to know how it’s doing, to know if it is safe or even to know where it is.“ESA’s global network of deep space tracking stations and use of internationally recognised technical standards allows us to help our partners track, command and receive data from their spacecraft almost anywhere in the Solar System,” says Ramesh Chellathurai, ESA Service Manager and ESA Cross-Support Liaison Officer for ISRO.“For the Aditya-L1 mission, we are providing support from all three of our 35-metre deep space antennas in Australia, Spain and Argentina, as well as support from our Kourou station in French Guiana and coordinated support from Goonhilly Earth Station in the UK.”ESA is the main provider of ground station services for Aditya-L1. ESA stations will support the mission from beginning to end: from the critical ‘Launch and Early Orbit Phase’, throughout the journey to L1, and to send commands to and receive science data from Aditya-L1 for multiple hours per day over the next two years of routine operations.ISRO develops advanced flight dynamics softwareTo get to L1 and safely stay in orbit, operators need to know exactly where their spacecraft was, is and will be. To do so, they apply mathematical formulas to the tracking data from the spacecraft to calculate its past, present and future location in a process known as ‘orbit determination’.Orbit determination is carried out with the help of specially designed software. ISRO has designed and developed new orbit determination software for Aditya-L1. However, given the tiny margin for error that comes with operating a spacecraft at L1, they requested support from ESA to validate it.ESA puts it to the testFrom April to December 2022, ESA and ISRO teams worked together intensively to evaluate ISRO’s strategy for operating Aditya-L1 and challenge their new orbit determination software.“With its experience flying and even rescuing missions at the Lagrange points, ESA was in the perfect position to help ISRO improve their new orbit determination software and demonstrate that it has the fidelity and accuracy that the organisation needs in order to operate a spacecraft at a Lagrange point for the first time,” says ESA Flight Dynamics expert Frank Budnik.First, the ESA team invented typical scenarios that the ISRO team could face when operating Aditya-L1. Both teams then used their own orbit determination software to predict how Aditya-L1’s orbit would evolve in these scenarios and compared their results.The next step saw ESA provide ISRO with simulated tracking data similar to the data that ESA uses to train its own flight dynamics teams. This includes data typical of a spacecraft’s critical Launch and Early Orbit Phase, a complex orbit insertion manoeuvre or even a planetary flyby. The ISRO team used their software to analyse the data, and then both teams worked together to detect any areas that could be improved and fine-tune some of the algorithms.Finally, the ESA team provided the ISRO team with tracking data from a real spacecraft orbiting L1. Both teams used their own software to analyse the data from ESA’s former LISA Pathfinder mission and compared their results once again.The results of the exercise were valuable for ESA and ISRO and both teams are confident in the capabilities of ISRO’s software.
In a first, Isro uses high throughput X-band frequency for Aditya missionBENGALURU: Isro has achieved a new milestone, graduating from the S-band telemetry and command regime used for communication with its space modules to a high throughput X-band frequency for Aditya-L1, India's first solar space observatory that completed the first of five Earth-bound manoeuvres at 11.40am Sunday.
Compared to S-band, which operates with 2-2.5GHz, X band functions with 8-8.5GHz. This is in line with global standards for missions beyond Earth's sphere of influence. The major advantage of using X-band is that it allows for more clear communication with distant satellites.
The main antenna supporting operations is an 18m one in Byalalu, some 30km from Bengaluru. Commissioned in 2021, the antenna was set up using funds for the Aditya-L1 mission, which was designed to have X-band telemetry. It is equipped with auto-tracking features across both bands and remotely operable from the network control centre.
"We have used this even with Chandrayaan-3. The antenna at Byalalu, developed by ECIL (Electronics Corporation of India Limited) with some key systems coming from BARC (Bhabha Atomic Research Centre), can operate in both S and X bands," Isro chairman S Somanath told TOI.